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“Wasn't really worth it”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Centralia
Vancouver
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Wasn't really worth it”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Stayed at Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound for one night at the end of the August. Our group had 4 rooms. The standard room itself are surprisingly large and spacious. The rooms are well equipped with microwave and fridge. The design is very family friendly with the sink outside of the washroom to allow for separate use.

The water park itself was a lot smaller than I expected. There is a wave pool, 3 main slides and 2 smaller slides. There is a toddler area and very small hot tub. We spent about 4 hours there on the day of arrival and didn't go back in the water. The younger kids couldn't do much and you can really only spend so much time in the kids section and the wave pool. The older kids spent time in the evening with the magic quest game which they found neat.

We ate at one of the restaurants and the food wasn't very good. The service was even worse especially when they charged us 18% tip for the larger group. The rest of the staff from front desk to housekeeping to lifeguards was very good though.

We will not be returning anytime soon based on the cost of the park and the value we got.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Monky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (342)
Date | Rating
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English first
Salem, Oregon, United States
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We got in on a "crazy sale", which made it marginally more affordable than it usually might be, but even with the discount, we had to pay an arm and a leg. It is a VERY expensive place to visit. I will say that the snack areas have decent prices on things like nachos and pretzels, but you'll pay $12 for a refillable soda. REALLY? If you get that, refill that puppy like 10 times while you're there to make it worth it!

We did online check-in so that part was smooth, but our room was a hot mess. The sofa sleeper mattress was SO springy that even my lightest child couldn't lay down on it. We had to call down for a mattress pad and extra blankets to make it sleepable. There was NO A/C in the room so we roasted all night. Our hair dryer didn't work (faulty outlets), we had NO hot water for showers except for the first and last minute of each shower, and the fridge wasn't cold (yes, we checked the dial).

The park itself was just OK... there are only 4 slides and they are very short. The wave pool is great except you can't take floating devices in and it kept getting shut down because of POOP in the pool. REALLY????? Disappointing.

The dining experience was AWFUL, as we had to wait about 20 minutes to even get our order taken. We almost walked out, but really, where else are we going to eat? Food in the restaurant is very expensive. Since, yo know, they didn't already have enough of our money. :)

Room Tip: Inspect your room ASAP and ask to move if there are things wrong with it (check water temperate in s...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Crystal A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We stayed in the Kid Cabin this time, and our three kids LOVED it! Seeing their faces when they walked in and saw the little room with bunk beds and a TV was priceless. The room was clean and the bed were comfortable. The water park is fabulous of course, my kids had a blast. We met our extended family there for a mini vacation and everyone - kids aged 3 to 16 and grandma and grandpa - had a blast. Magicquest is a very unique and engaging game for the kids and all of them enjoyed it. My husband enjoyed as much or more than them I think! The only reason that I give it 4 instead of 5 stars is the food service is sometimes less than stellar. And they charge you for a cup of coffee when you are already paying $15 for a breakfast buffet! My kids got a picture with one of the characters in the lobby and they got to color some pictures there too during a short down time. Always something to entertain and fascinate!

Room Tip: You want to be away from the elevators if you have an early bedtime - the Magicquest game gets a lit...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charmedeebob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

We visited Aug 28 surprising our kids. This was our third visit, and was great again. Water park was a blast as was magiquest. We ate one meal at the critter cafe which was better than expected. Only complaint was that there was a fire alarm at one AM. Nothing the hotel could do about that, but there were no staff managing the situation, no information provided on the situation, didn't leave a good feeling on how a real emergency would be handled.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Geoff K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olds, Alberta, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Aug of 2013. The check in was very simple and quick, and I loved the wrist band system, no more asking "do you have the room card? where is the room card?" Also, liked we could charge things to our room with the wrist band as well. The room was clean and spacious and we were awarded our upgrade pick of a patio room. The food was delicious, I really liked the family meal idea (although we didn't try it), I had crab legs and they were very good. The water park was fun, although I think any kids over the age of 12 or 13 would not be impressed. My daughter also had a facial in the Scoops Spa (with Kyle) she was fantastic and gave my daughter skin care tips etc., I loved that their skin care products were organic. We also did MagiQuest which was very confusing at first but when we found all the little tricks it was fun, the Great Forest Challenge was fun but very expensive and we felt gouged (it took us 20mins to complete and it cost $40 for a family of 4) The kids also played in the video arcade and had lots of fun! This hotel is a bit out of the way, but we found really good shopping close by so made the trip even more enjoyable. Overall it was a nice couple of nights stay!

Room Tip: We had a ground floor room with a patio, but I think next time I would choose a room with a balcony...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

My family and I visited Great Wolf Lodge on the advice of friends that had raved about it. After spending 2 mid week nights here in August I can honestly say the Great Wolf Lodge is a fantastic place for a young family and we will be going back.

The water park was very clean and very safe. There were many life guards and they all appeared to be diligent in performing their duties. The life guards were constantly checking riders to make sure they met the minimum safety requirements and I saw 2 occasions where they turned riders away because they were too short. Each slide had a life guard at the top and a life guard at the bottom. There were eight slides in total, including 2 small slides at the tot pool. My oldest kids, 8 and 10, were able to go on every slide and they had a great time. Heck, I went on every ride and had a great time. The most intense ride was the "Howling Tornado". My kids and I made the "Howling Tornado" run about 20 times and had a riot. The wait times for the slides would go up and down through out the day. The longest we waited for any ride was about 15 minutes. I noticed that the lines were shortest at 9:00am when the park opened and during the times that people were having lunch and dinner. In the morning we were able to make several trips up and down some of the slides without any wait time at all. My youngest child had a fantastic time playing in the wave pool and the tot pool. The tot pool had many spray guns, water dumping buckets and play areas to keep a toddler busy. There were also very shallow areas for really young children. The water and air temperature was perfect and it was easy to spend 3 to 4 hours in the park.

We stayed in a "KidCabin" suite and were happy with it. My wife and I had a queen bed while the kids stayed in a walled off portion of the room made out to be a cabin. The kidcabin had a bunk bed, a day bed and their own wall mounted tv. It was a perfect set up for three younger children. The main room had a small fridge, a microwave, a tv and a fireplace. The main room also had a roll out sofa bed for additional guests.

I had heard mixed reviews about the on site restaurants so we stopped at a grocery store prior to getting to the park and picked up some breakfast and lunch items. We did purchase a Great Wolf breakfast package that gave us one morning at the breakfast buffet for about $50. The buffet was stocked with your usual breakfast items plus they had an omelet bar and you could get eggs to order. Overall it was good value considering what a typical breakfast costs at your average restaurant. We tried the on site "Hungry as a Wolf" pizza restaurant one night and found the pizza to be average. There was nothing wrong with it and it would be on par with a lot of the chain pizzas like Domino's. We also did a dinner at the "Loose Moose Cottage". My kids loved the items from the kids menu and my wife and I found our dishes to be ok and on par with a menu from a chain like Montana's. The best restaurant, from an adult perspective, was the on site Starbucks. It is a fully equipped bucks located right off the main lobby.

I purchased a "Paw" package for my two older children. For two packages the cost was about $130 after taxes. It is a little expensive but my kids loved doing "Magiquest", a game where they get Harry Potter type wands and can wander around the resort completing wizard tasks. The package also included some additional toys and arcade tokens.

The staff I dealt with at the resort were professional and efficient. We required a bed rail and the front desk had it dropped off almost immediately. As well most of the life guards were friendly and were very polite.

The overall resort felt like being at a giant indoor camp ground.

Overall this was an excellent experience and we all came away having memories of a really fun trip.

Room Tip: Higher Floors are quieter. The rooms on the 1st to 4th floor near the stairwells will be very noisy...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CanadianDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbotsford, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We just got back from our trip at the Great Wolf Lodge and had a great time. We have twins that are 12yrs old and hoped that the park wasn't too 'old for them' - it wasn't. Here are some pointers and advice!

-It was challenging knowing you spent a whack of money for the stay/room to include the waterpark, but then to find out that everything else costs money. Prepare to 'budget' and give your children options.

-For example, our twins really wanted to play MagiQuest however we were not prepared to buy 2 wands and 2 games full well knowing that they were going to travel throughout the lodge together playing the exact same game! So, we bought one wand, they had a 'team' name and conquered the quests together. We said no to the 'topper' that does nothing - so the wand and game cost $28 inc. taxes. It was well worth it for them AND for us. My husband and I had a break to get a Starbucks and visit together on the big couches while they ran around and they loved running around playing the game and activating things. MagiQuest they played after the Water Park and sometimes they would wake up very early at 8am to go out and hit some more quests.

-Water Park was fantastic. I thought the lifeguards were excellent and attentive which was very important because there is so much going on there. After each of the tube rides, lifeguards would ask us if it was fun etc :) They had to clear the wave pool at one point because of an 'accident' which was done quick and efficiently. In total, there is one big wave pool (waves on and off), kid pool with big animals in it (that kids love), toddler pool with animals to sit in and a wide slide, water tower with tons of squirting mechanisms that my husband and I actually really loved too. Then every 5mins or so, the 1,000 gallon of water comes dumping down which is the best! The water tower also has (2) mini water slides that even I enjoyed with the kids. There is also a small hot tub for adults and kids over 8yrs (not watched by guards). The (4) main slides are: 2) Tube rides where you can ride single or double. They go really fast if you lie down in them on a double. There is a 'river run' ride which is easy and the whole family (up to 5 can go together - providing children meet the height limit). It's easy and fun, nothing too crazy. The Howling Tornado is awesome too - more restrictions due to the big drop and then funnel feel. We went on that ride a whack of times. I'm not a fan of 'straight down' things, but got over my fear when I went on it a few times. **TIP - Leave valuables at your room and save the $10 on the locker! Bring ONLY what you need and leave those items on one of the many chairs. Our stuff was fine the entire time we were at the WP.

-The room was fine. We had a room with a 'wolf den' that the kids didn't really care about (being 12 I guess) but the room itself was clean and tidy. We ourselves found our queen bed hard so if you like a harder bed, you'll like these ones. We were quite a long way from the elevators and MagiQuest booths which I think would be important. Those areas are quite busy with kids running around with the wands and I could see how that would be a challenge if you like quiet. TIP - Our room came with a microwave and fridge - confirm that yours does too. Bring bread, meat, cheese and make sandwiches if you are on a budget!

-Check-In - No problem, quick and easy. Our room wasn't ready when we arrived but was ready at about 3:30pm. You can always hope for an early check-in, but we didn't expect it so didn't care.

-Food - We only ate once at the Critters Lounge for lunch and the food was good. A bit more than you would perhaps pay on the outside, but it was fine. Burger Claim a 'walk' north was excellent and with your bracelet, you save 5%. Burgers and salads were excellent! We also tried the Mexican Restaurant one night for dinner off-site - Mariachi's - also very good and a change of pace.

-We read that the Mini Golf wasn't good - and cheesy so we didn't play. We have an excellent mini golf course at home that we didn't want to pay for sub-standard!

-4 Room Laser Game - $10/person. TIP*** They do a TEST game first thing in the morning at 11am. If you get there early enough to be the first, you MIGHT get the game for free! Our kids did with some others! The kids really liked it - us adults drank Starbucks :)

-We didn't do the Scoops Spa so cannot comment.
-We didn't eat the pizza bar so cannot comment (just saw that it was busy!)

OVERALL - Great time - Budget - and possibly give your kids $20 to spend how they want then they can choose a few options (Arcade, gift shop, candy shop, laser game etc)

Happy travels!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Property: Great Wolf Lodge
Address: 20500 Old Highway 99 SW, Centralia, WA 98531-9708
Location: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 398
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia

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